image grab from the homepage of the race site should the race logo over a dark purple background and an image of a guy
image grab from the new race site shows a grid with the seven themes of the site

Today is International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which is why we are particularly pleased to announce the public launch of a new website project that focuses on a critical understanding of race.

Created by the Haas Institute in collaboration with the American Cultures Center and the Media Resources Center at UC Berkeley, this new website is a companion to the groundbreaking 2003 PBS documentary series, Race—The Power of an Illusion. The three-part series, produced by California Newsreel, asks a question so basic it’s rarely raised: What is this thing called "race"? 

This new companion site, which we have been developing for over a year with a team of dedicated partners, features interviews with and articles by scholars and others featured in the film, new video clips from UC Berkeley faculty who study race, and many other educational tools including lesson plans for teachers. It is an update to the original Race website, hosted by PBS. Since its launch, the documentary has been used by millions of people to scrutinize their own deep-seated beliefs about race and racism, and explore how our social divisions are not natural or inevitable, but socially constructed.

The content is thematically organized in categories we identified from the series such as:
  • "Founding America," which looks at how slavery went from being unquestioned to facing challenges of morality
  • "Science and Pseudoscience," which examines how the scientifically-baseless idea that race corresponds to biological differences in IQ, behavior, propensity for disease, and physical appearance has long shaped public policy and social discourse
  • "Who Belongs as an American?," which looks at the continuing debate in this country, in which race plays a central role, over who belongs
  • "Making Whiteness," which considers whiteness as a changing identity and social position defined by laws, policies, and norms affecting the distribution of resources and power
  • And more themes, see here
We hope you will find the website useful to grapple with and learn more about race and racism, in our continued work to eliminate racism and all forms of racialized discrimination. And if you have thoughts about the new sitewhat you like about it, what can be improved, or what else you'd like to see featuredplease send your feedback to

Warm regards,
john a. powell

PS - If you haven't already seen the documentary, you can stream it for a small fee at California Newsreel. We also have a 5-minute-long trailer on the new Race site here, along with several excerpts from the documentary's three episodes on the videos page.
Image grab from a video of a gathering to celebrate the launch of the new race site showing michael omi, larry adelman and john powell seated on a stage.
Last month we hosted Executive Producer of Race Larry Adelman and several UC Berkeley scholars for a discussion on the series in anticipation of the new website launch. See a video of that event. From left: Michael Omi, Larry Adelman, and john powell.
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